Responding to the Queen’s Speech, Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said:

“We welcome bringing forward proposals for consultation on how best to improve social care because Government needs to keep this crucial issue at the top of its to-do list.

“We are also encouraged by reforms to mental health legislation and the pledge to prioritise mental health in the NHS.

“ADASS wants to work with Government to establish a strong and sustainable health and care system, which has never been more urgent or vital.

“A long-term funding solution that will work for everyone, regardless of their means, or nature of their disability, has to be a national priority to ensure certainty and continuity of personal, dignified care to the growing number of people living longer and with increasingly complex and costly needs.

“A wide ranging public debate is needed to future-proof the provision of care in the most fair and affordable way. Crucial to this is the promised Green Paper, which must be realised, unlike numerous previous pledges of reform by successive governments which have fallen by the wayside.

“A rise in the National Living Wage is welcome, but the funding solution needs to address the recruitment, training and retention of dedicated staff operating under significant pressures on the system, and a fragile and unsustainable provider market.

“With a significant funding gap for social care forecast by the end of the decade, there is a need for the new Government to act urgently to give confidence to the million people who get social care support and their families so they can continue to be supported to lead independent and fulfilling lives.”